Heartland Revival

St. Louis

Interview: SOL Sweat

Interview, Out and AboutAmber BransonComment

As a wellness coach, I like to have a "toolbox" of holistic health modalities that I take part in regularly as part of my self-care routine. My latest obsession is sweating it out in infrared sauna! I've always wanted to try out a sauna but for some reason was never able to find one that wasn't hidden in a very expensive, private gym. Enter SOL Sweat! While searching on a whim a few months ago, I could not believe my eyes when I found a studio dedicated just to infrared saunas. I promptly made an appointment to check it out and try my first session. The studio is easy to find and very accommodating, with 3 rooms dedicated to saunas (one even being for couples who are open to sweating together ;) ).  Each room also provides a water cooler to stay hydrated, chairs and hooks for your belongings and my favorite part, a cool washcloth infused with essential oils to help you feel refreshed after your session. Needless to say, I am hooked and wanted to share the love!

Stacy Sullivan is the genius behind the operation so I reached out to her to learn more about SOL Sweat and learn her wellness necessities. See her thoughts below and check out the beautiful space she has created: 

Q: What compelled you to open SOL Sweat? I have always loved heat, hot yoga, and going to spas. My body and mind relax when I sit still in heat. After joining an expensive gym and only using the steam room and sauna, I had an idea to open an easy access sauna studio that doesn’t require a membership.

Q: What are the top three reasons someone should incorporate infrared saunas into their holistic routine?  The top 3 reasons an infrared sauna should be added to any holistic routine are:
1. Stress relief
2. Self-care and sweating out toxins is very important to our well-being
3. To feel the radiance of the sun’s rays without exposing oneself to UV rays.

Q: What are the top three questions asked by your customers?  
1. What is the difference between a traditional gym sauna vs an infrared sauna? (A gym sauna is usually a hot room, where an infrared sauna penetrates the body and it is a gentle, more effective way to experience heat therapy.
2. What do I wear in the sauna? People can use the towel provided, a swimsuit, or light cotton clothing.  
3. How often should I go? We recommend 2-3 times a week, if working on a specific lifestyle change or wellness initiative. However, 1 session will bring relaxation and stress relief. Everyone’s needs are different - it comes down to time and budget.

Q: If you had a list of ‘best-kept secrets’ (websites, books, local businesses) you’d recommend, which would you include and why? I am very open-minded to all new activities that stimulate the mind, body and spirit. I am always reading the paper and checking out Facebook events for happenings around the city. Float, Yoga Buzz, Grand Basin Yoga, Women’s Weekend, Sym*Bowl, Sound Healing with Anu French and Southtown Yoga are my favorites.

Q: What is a non-negotiable in your self-care routine? Why?  Sleep. I absolutely need 8 hours of sleep to be motivated to be my best.

Thank you, Stacy for sharing your thoughts! For more info on SOL Sweat, follow along on Facebook, Instagram or book a session at gosweattoday.com

 

Local Gift Guide 2014

At HomeAmber BransonComment
*all photos used are either from the business' website, facebook, instagram or etsy shop with the exception of Maven and Cheryl's Herbs.

*all photos used are either from the business' website, facebook, instagram or etsy shop with the exception of Maven and Cheryl's Herbs.

Gift guides are all the rage right now so I thought I'd share some items on my wishlist but with a little twist... all local to St. Louis stuff! With Small Business Saturday this weekend, I wanted to show off some of the awesome, healthy gift options we have right here in the center of the USA; Heartland Revival style!

1. Perennial Herb Drying RackPerfect for your favorite gardener. Not only practical, it is made entirely of upcycled materials.

2. PuraVegan Treats — It wouldn't be the Holidays without some indulgence so why don't we indulge guilt-free? The treats at PuraVegan are organic and made with only a handful of ingredients!

3. Body Sticks from MavenConfession, I already have their deodorant but who can have too much of that? It's by far the best working aluminum-free deodorant I've tried. Now, the face oil cleanser I haven't tried yet but it has spirulina in it so that automatically puts it as a want. Both would make great stocking stuffers.

4. My Coconut Kitchen Everyone has heard the good word about Coconut oil but what about flavored coconut butter?! The Divinely Dark flavor would be awesome in bulletproof coffee!

5. Essential Oils from Cheryl's HerbsCheryl does 'em right. Their products are top quality and made in-house. My favorite is the Lavandin oil (stronger than Lavender oil) and their tea tree oil.

6. Missouri Cutting BoardMade entirely out of Missouri wood, this would make a great gift for the ultimate host in your life.

7. Body soap from Buddha Bath and Body Made from natural and sustainable ingredients, their soap is the most luxurious of homemade products I've found. BONUS, they just opened a store down on Cherokee!

8. Growler from Scratch BrewingEverything is good in moderation, right? If you're going to drink beer why not drink some that has been "brewed with home grown and locally farmed and foraged ingredients". (a little further from St. Louis than the others but definitely worth it)

9. Honey Masters HoneyA great organization as well as local. Good for your soul and immunity during the cold & flu season!

10. Sunflower Massage Gift CertificateNot all massage studios are created equal. This one is privately owned and all of the therapists are very professional and considerate of your health history and any concerns. And they use Cheryl's Herbs essential oils to boot!

11. ReTrailer TeaOne of my very favorite local brands, Lisa's teas are not only delicious but have Ayurvedic healing properties.

Please see either the websites linked or Facebook pages on where to buy. I know that I did not cover all the great, healthy gift ideas St. Louis has to offer so if you have anything additional to add, please share below!

Happy Shopping!

CSA: 2

In My KitchenAmber BransonComment
CSA2

These are the contents of my CSA from last Thursday. So many greens! Here's what I have planned:

2 heads of bok choy: crunchy slaw

2 heads of lettuce: lettuce wraps and salads

1 bunch of kale: cheesy kale chips

Bag of spinach: salads and for juicing

Bag of baby kale: juicing

Bag of mixed greens: used for a Greek salad for Memorial weekend camping

Small container of strawberries (not pictured): in overnight oats and strawberry chia jam

I am most worried about using it all before it goes bad. I did some research on storing greens and so far, so good! Do you have any tips for storing greens? Let me know in the comments!

CSA: 1

Amber BransonComment
CSA1

Yesterday, I picked up my first CSA haul! Last fall, I made the decision to participate in a CSA in an effort to eat locally and because I eat A LOT of vegetables and it can be expensive. After some research and asking around, I decided to go with Riverbend Roots Farm. Since this is my first time participating, I chose the full share for every other week. I wanted to get the full range of what they offer but wasn't sure I could handle a full share every week by myself. I was warned that the first share is the smallest and although it won't last me long, I was happy with what was included in the share and I am excited to try a few new recipes.

Here's what I plan to do with my share:

Bok choy: seared as a side dish

Radishes: in a salad with cucumbers (to serve along with the bok choy)

Bag of greens: LOTS of salads

Lemon Balm: infused vinegar, muddled in cocktails, paired with strawberries to flavor water

I encourage you to find out where your food comes from and try cooking with a vegetable you've never had before! Here is a great resource for finding locally grown food near you.